Restaurant expansions: Pizza, Middle Eastern, Vietnamese, bagels
Main Line's last Peace A Pizza to be transformed into a Snap Custom Pizza.
Time to run down a few expansions and related moves:
Howey, a partner in the design-your-own-pie-for-one-price chain (and a founder of the better-for-you-than-soda New Hope Premium Fountain beverage company), says the transition will coincide with the opening of a Snap store at the University of Delaware.
Rosemont is expected to reopen as a Snap around Halloween. Hope's Cookies next door is unaffected by any of this.
Already there are Snaps in Ardmore (at the site of the very first Peace A Pizza, which opened in 1996 by the Ardmore train station), at Main Street at Exton, and at 1504 Sansom St. in Center City. Howey said he expects 10 Snaps by the end of next year.
Also in the expansion realm:
Pho Street, a casual Vietnamese restaurant with locations in Springfield, Delaware County, and Bryn Mawr, plans to make the leap to Center City in early 2017 with a spot at 2104-06 Market St., which we old-timers remember as part of Nate Ben's Reliable, a furniture store. Metro Commercial's Scott Benson, Michael Gorman, and Lars Kerstein represented the landlord.
Across the street, at the new building at 1919 Market St., David Sloan of Naf Naf Grill, a fast-casual Middle Eastern out of suburban Chicago, says he's looking at a fall opening. The region's first Naf Naf is due to open Sept. 6 in King of Prussia Town Center, and pita sandwiches will be given away (one per customer) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A third Naf Naf is due this fall at 7000 Midatlantic Drive in Mount Laurel (near the Anthony's Coal-Fired Pizza).
In University City, Spread Bagelry's second shop is nearly ready for prime time at 36th and Chestnut Streets. And also 'round here: David Fine of the bagel truck Schmear It says he is looking at late September for his brick-and-mortar location a block away, at the mixed-use building at 3601 Market St. Speaking of 3601, also home of Herban Quality Eats: The long-talked-about Danlu - a posh spinoff of Berwyn's pan-Asian hit Nectar - should be under construction soon, says partner Patrick Feury.
Condiment - a Reading Terminal Market stand selling made-to-order butter and mayo as well as assorted condiments to complement the market's fresh foods - is aiming to open around Labor Day, says owner Elizabeth Halen, who also owns the nearby Flying Monkey Bakery.
In Chestnut Hill, Manish Chopra - who operates the Cross Culture Indian restaurant in Haddonfield (but not the other regional locations) - is readying Banjara, an Indian BYOB, at Top of the Hill, where Heirloom was (8705 Germantown Ave.). It's about a month away.
Marvin Graaf of Cresheim Valley Grain Exchange and Falls Taproom is headed to Montgomery County to open a second pizzeria, now that Pizzeria Nonna, his three-month-old Germantown NEPA-style pizza shop, is humming along. The next one, opening in September, will be Gracie's Homemade Pasta & Pizza, at 17 Limekiln Pike in Glenside. The location (in photo above) has been all sorts of trattorias over the years. Graaf, naming the place for his mother, promises house-made pastas, Neapolitan-style pizza, build-your-own boards of Italian charcuterie, cheeses and homemade accompaniments (more than just mustards and compotes), and a seasonal menu of mostly southern Italian dishes in a vintage-y look.
In Manayunk, Paul and Pat Ryan of Ryan's Pub in West Chester are revamping the old Flat Rock Saloon at 4301 Main St. They're in the early stages, and a timeline is not available.